Welcome to Kickstart Monday! This is our weekly series featuring 2 or more crowdfunding projects that have caught our eye. We scour over platforms like Kickstarter, Gamefound, and Indigogo to find projects that interest us.

There are certainly some exciting projects out in crowdfunding land. Let’s take a look at a couple of games that we think you should check out.

The Old King’s Crown

Our first game this week is The Old King’s Crown a Kickstarter campaign from Eerie Idol games. 

The Old King’s Crown is a strategy game for 1 to 4 players set in a once grand kingdom, now crumbling where players will plot and scheme to be the one that claims the crown. Each player will take control of one of four asymmetrical factions with unique tactics and play style. Playing as the Nobles will allow the player to use their great wealth to control areas of the kingdom and defend their holdings. Play as The Uprising and you will gather a large following of supporters and build a network of spies that work to take out your opponents leaders. The Clans faction are excellent combatants that send out boats of raiders to pillage the land and establish their presence. Finally, the Gathering faction uses magic rituals to gain power and drain their rivals’ followers and influence. Each faction has a unique deck of cards that represents the strength and abilities of that faction. Players will use these cards in various ways to participate in clashes to control the different regions of the kingdom,

To bid on valuable kingdom cards that can grant additional actions and to deploy to regions for future rounds. Players will be able to bolster and refine their factions deck during the game by gaining powerful contested neutral cards, culling unused cards and working to cycle their most powerful cards more often. Players will plot and clash over the regions of the kingdom and the court itself until one player has amassed enough influence to claim the crown and win the game.

The Kickstarter for The Old King’s Crown is somewhat unique in that there are no stretch goals. The designers have stated that they wish to bring the best version of the game forward for everyone and so the base version of the game is essentially the deluxe version you might expect from other Kickstarters. High quality components including screen printed wooden pieces are available in all available pledge tiers. The base tier pledge will run about  $65. There is also an $107 pledge which includes The Wild Kingdom expansion and a $125 all-in pledge which will get you the expansion plus exclusive art prints. The campaign for The Old King’s Crown ends on November 23, 2023, so make sure to get your pledge in before then!

Kelp: Shark vs Octopus

Our second game this week is the Kickstarter for Kelp: Shark vs Octopus from Wonderbow games. 

Kelp is a unique 2 player asymmetrical game with high player interaction that is inspired by the actual behavior of sharks and octopuses in the wild. One player will take on the role of the shark and will use dice bag building mechanics to hunt and attack the octopus. As the shark you will roll dice each turn determining which actions you can take. Blue dice let you place currents on the board allowing you to move more quickly potentially building chains of currents to swim across the board. Yellow dice let you search for the octopus in its hiding places while red dice allow you to strike out at where you think the octopus might be.

The shark must be careful though each time it strikes it uses energy and grows hungrier. If the shark grows too hungry it becomes exhausted and the octopus will win! For the shark to win they must attack and defeat the octopus in a final confrontation.

The octopus uses deck building mechanics and must move stealthily across the board hiding from the shark and also looking for its own food. The octopus manipulates blocks on the board which represent places where the octopus might be hiding, food for the octopus or neutral shells. One of the nine blocks on the board is the octopus so the octopus must make sure the shark doesn’t locate that one! The octopus’s cards let it move blocks around by swapping adjacent locations or shuffling a group of blocks and replacing them. If blocks have been revealed by the shark the octopus has ways to hide those blocks again to continue evading the shark. The octopus is also able to learn to improve its skills and add better cards to its deck and gain new blocks including traps! The octopus will win if the shark becomes exhausted or if the octopus manages to eat all of its food blocks. The beautiful art and unique theme are what drew me to this game and I definitely think it’s worth a look if you are into 2 player head to head games.

The Kelp Standard Edition is available for $50 USD but if you dive a little deeper into your wallet, $66 USD will net you the deluxe edition which includes upgraded dice, and octopus miniature, embroidered bags and a deluxe embossed box. The campaign for Kelp: Shark vs Octopus will run until December 5, 2023, so you have until then you make a pledge.

Did we miss your favorite project?

Thank you for checking out this week’s Kickstart Monday! If you find these interesting or want some attention on a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded projects that you would like to read more about please share your thoughts with us via our social media or email.

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